Renal Biopsy

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A renal biopsy is a procedure in which a small a piece of kidney tissue is removed from the body to diagnose diseases or other forms of damage.

Need to Know

Nice to Know
  • You will be asked to change into a gown prior to the procedure
  • You may be instructed to fast prior to the biopsy
  • Prior to the procedure, you should provide your physician with a list of medications you are currently taking
  • In many cases you may be asked to provide blood and urine samples prior to the procedure
  • Ultrasound may be used to increase the precision and accuracy of the needle placement

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Why is This Exam Done?

Renal biopsies are typically performed to diagnose kidney cancer or other diseases. In some cases it is used to check on the success of kidney disease treatments or kidney transplants.

What Will Happen During the Exam?

You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the neck area, and a drug will be administered intravenously to provide you with the most comfort possible. Our experienced and caring physician will wait until the area is completely numb before proceeding. Once the area is numb the physician will make a small incision and using ultrasound guidance will place the needle into the liver tissue. It may be necessary to take more than once tissue sample. Once the sample is drawn it will be sent to a laboratory.

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How Should I Prepare?

  • You will be asked to change into a gown prior to the procedure
  • Inform your physician of any medications you are currently taking
  • After the procedure you may be monitored by a nursing staff for a few hours
  • You will need to plan on having a friend or family member drive you home
  • You may experience some soreness after the procedure, so it’s best to avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after the biopsy
  • In many cases you may be asked to provide blood and urine samples prior to the procedure
  • You may be instructed to fast prior to the biopsy
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What Are the Benefits and Risks?

The benefits of Renal Biopsy:

  • Recovery time is usually very quick. You should be back to a normal routine within 24 hours.
  • Renal biopsies can be necessary for an accurate diagnosis, so treatment may begin as necessary
  • Renal biopsies allow physicians the ability to use ultrasound guidance to maximize precision in guiding the needle
  • Little or no scaring is caused by the biopsy

Risks you should be aware of:

  • There is a slight chance of blood entering the urine. This may last for a couple of days.
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Where Can I Get This Exam?

We perform renal biopsies at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Hartford Hospital.

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